MARTA: A feminine version of Martin, Latin for "warrior." Perfect for the baby girl with a wicked backhand. Relatives: Martine, Marta, Marty, Tina. Namesake Martina Navratilova.
MARVELLE: From the Latin and Old French for "miracle." Relatives: Marvel, Marvell, Marva, Marvella. Namesake: Andrew Marvell.
MARVIN: Celtic for "beautiful sea," Anglo-Saxon for "good friend," and a version of Mervyn. This name hasn't seen much activity in the past decade in spite of its winning derivations. Relatives: Mervin, Mervyn, Merwin, Merwyn, Myrwyn, Murvyn, Myrvyn, Marv. Namesakes: Marvin Hamlisch, Marvin Gaye, Lee Marvin.
MARY: The New Testament form of Miriam (Hebrew for"bitter"). For generations, including the first half of the twentieth century. Mary has been the most popular name in many cultures. Although it has fallen out of favor in the past few decades, it will probably become the "Jessica" of the twenty-first century. Mary is also the star of dozens of nursery rhymes, which makes story-time conveniently personal. It pairs well with a second name such as Ellen, Alice, or Jane. Relatives: Mari, Merry, Marie, Maria, Miriam, Marian, Mame, Mamie, Maymie, Mayme, May, Mally, Molly, Polly, Mara, Maretta, Marel, Marella, Maren, Marlo, Mariette, Marieta, Meriel, Mimi, Minette, Minnie, Minny, Mitzi, Madonna, Marilla, Marla, Marya, Muriel, Manon, Manette, Marija, Marika, Maire, Mare, Marquita, Maure, Mairin, Maura, Maureen, Moira, Moire, Moya, Muire, Masha, Mairi. Namesakes: Mary Queen of Scots, William and Mary, Mary Martin, Mamie Eisenhower, "Mary Poppins," "Minnie Mouse."